TOS Dominicana (DR)

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Update

In autumn 2007, the government finally recognized the union and a contract was signed between the union and the factory’s management agreeing to a 10% wage increase.  Hopefully now, through the union, the workers will be able to settle the other grievances they have with the management.

Who owns it

Hanesbrand Inc.

What they produce

Fabrics primarily for T-Shirts

Who they produce for

Wal-Mart is their largest client, but they also produce for University logo goods maker Group M, and their own brand name of blank t-shirts

Address

Textile Factory, Dos Rios Industrial Park, Bonoa, Dominican Republic

Number of workers

1,100 workers (one of largest textile manufacturers in the DR)

Summary of Problems at the Factory

  • unlawful coercion of workers to sign new employment contracts and complaint waivers reducing workers employment rights and benefits
  • forced and unpaid overtime
  • verbal harassment and abuse
  • use of a range of illegal means to thwart workers’ efforts to exercise their associational rights.

Union Information

Workers have tried to join the Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Empresa de Dos Rios/Hanesbrand, TOS Dominicana (Union of Workers of the Enterprise Dos Rios/Hanesbrand, TOS Dominicana) a local branch of the national union, the Federacion Dominicana de Trabajadores de Zonas Francas or FEDOTRAZONAS (Dominican Federation of Free Trade Zone Workers).

Communication with Buyers:

The Worker Rights Consortium notified Hanesbrand about these issues and the violations were neither acknowledged nor addressed. (as of their report on June 6, 2007)

Reports/More Information About Factory:

WRC Report on TOS Dominicana PDF
Hanesbrands Code of Conduct PDF

Code of Conduct Violations

In a series of investigations of the working conditions of the factory on October 29-31, 2006, February 9-12, 17-19, and 26-28, 2007, and May 10-12, 2007, the Worker Rights Consortium found that Hanesbrand was in violation of Dominican and International laws.

Working Hours
Article 147 of the Dominican Labor Code establishes that the regular work week is to be eight hours per day and no more than forty-four hours per week. Article 203 of the Labor Code establishes that any work beyond this amount is to be compensated at a rate of 135% of normal pay and that overtime work is to be voluntary. However, TOS Dominicana makes employees work a schedule which requires unpaid overtime. Workers at Tos Dominicana are forced to work daily 12 hour shifts (for four days straight) as a mandatory aspect of employment. In addition to illegally forcing workers to work a 12 hour day the company is also not paying them the overtime rate for the extra hours they work.

Verbal Abuse
The WRC heard from numerous workers that managers on repeated occasions screamed at workers using derogatory and insulting language. The workers most frequently identified one particular supervisor and one particular manager as behaving in this way. Some workers complained that they feel that they are treated like “animals” in the workplace.

Unionization
Worker’s rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining are protected by Dominican law, international law, and applicable codes of conduct. Article 333 of the Dominican Labor Code bars employers from engaging in practices that impede workers’ efforts to join in trade unions. Some of the actions taken by the company include threats and harassment, surveillance of workers’ activities, the mass dismissal of union members, and the repeated targeted dismissal and attempted dismissal of union officers. In one instance union members were targeted for mass dismissals; between April 12 and 16, TOS Dominicana terminated 31 employees, and of those 31 workers, 29 were union members.